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Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace thinks Jaren Jackson Jr. has potential to become franchise’s best defender yet

jaren jackson jr

The Memphis Grizzlies sound very much convinced that they spent their first-round pick in the draft on a future star – at least that’s what general manager Chris Wallace’s level of confidence is on Jaren Jackson Jr., whom Memphis took as the fourth overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Michael Wallace of Girzzlies.com even revealed that Chris Wallace thinks Jackson is going to become the Grizzlies’ best defender in franchise history.

Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace basically told me Jaren Jackson Jr. could become the best shot-blocker and all-around defender the franchise has ever had. That’s high praise considering Marc Gasol was a DPOY and Tony Allen was arguably best defensive guard of his era.

It does sound a little too early to project Jackson’s career, even as a defensive asset, surpassing those of what Marc Gasol and Tony Allen have done in Memphis, but the former Michigan State Spartan energy bunny does have the foundation and the tools to become an all-time great defensively.

Standing 6-foot-11 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, Jackson pairs his solid physical attributes with an excellent timing at the rim. He averaged 3.0 blocks per game in East Lansing to go with 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds on his way to earning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors.

Jaren Jackson Jr. hopes to provide Memphis what he brought to Michigan State’s table now that he is finally a pro.